Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Geological and Atmospheric Sciences
Eugene S. Takle
The current expansion of wind farms in the U.S. Midwest promotes an alternative renewable energy portfolio to conventional energy sources derived from fossil fuels. The construction of wind turbines and large wind farms within several millions of cropland acres creates a unique interaction between two unlike energy sources: electric generation by wind and bio-fuel production derived from crop grain and plant tissues. Wind turbines produce power by extracting mean wind speed and converting a portion of the flow to turbulence downstream of each rotor. Turbine-scale turbulence modifies fluxes of momentum, heat, moisture, and other gaseous constituents (e.g. carbon dioxide) between the crop canopy and the atmospheric boundary layer. Conversely, crop surfaces and tillage elements produce drag on the hub-height wind resource, and the release of sensible and latent heat flux from the canopy or soil influences the wind speed profile.
The Crop-Wind Energy Experiment (CWEX) measured momentum, energy, and CO2 fluxes at several locations within the leading line of turbines in a large operational wind farm, and overall turbines promote canopy mixing of wind speed, temperature, moisture, and carbon dioxide in both the day and night. Turbine-generated perturbations of these fluxes are dependent on several factors influencing the turbine operation (e.g. wind speed, wind direction, stability, orientation of surrounding turbines within a wind park) and the cropland surface (e.g. crop type and cultivar, planting density, chemical application, and soil composition and drainage qualities). Additional strategies are proposed for optimizing the synergy between crop and wind power.
Daniel Andrew Rajewski
Rajewski, Daniel Andrew, "CWEX (Crop/Wind-Energy Experiment): Measurements of the interaction between crop agriculture and wind power" (2013). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 13404.